Fox hopes viewers can push pay-TV operators into deals for TV Everywhere play

Fox Broadcasting put up its paywall Monday, making users of and Hulu wait eight days to watch episodes of current shows instead of the one day they previously were delayed.

The broadcaster, worried that the availability of the shows online would cut into its advertising revenues, now makes the shows available only to subscribers of Hulu Plus and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH), although it had believed, when it announced the plan last month, that other service providers would opt to include the Fox TV Everywhere offerings. So far, only Dish has taken the plunge.

Fox this week began actively campaigning to entice other pay-TV operators, hoping that fans of the network will put enough pressure on providers to push them to sign up.

New episodes are locked on the Fox website and viewers are directed to fill out a form that Fox indicates will be sent to the service provider in their area.

The form includes this message from Fox: "Frustrated? Join your fellow subscribers and let your TV provider know that you want access to all full episodes on We will send an email when your provider's status changes."

According to reports, Fox is "in talks with pay-TV operators about the service."

During News Corp.'s (Nasdaq: NWSA) earnings call last week, COO Chase Carey said the network would try to tie online video distribution into broad distribution deals with affiliates.

"It's tied into retransmission [consent], which is really the tool for making a dual revenue business," Carey said. But, he added, the industry has been slow to move toward a TV Everywhere environment. "It's been disappointing in some ways authentication hasn't gotten further in terms of concepts, in terms of execution in the last couple of years. There's been a lot of talk--not as much action.

"We'd like to see an open, robust authenticated environment where a lot of people can compete with it, and [where] there's a lot of choice for customers."

For more:
- see this Multichannel News article

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